Cherchez la femme: It’s MeTEC again in $90 million tractor deal

28 Sep

Editor’s Note:

    The TPLF, its army and its business empire (EFFORT) do whatever they like. MeTEC, this army run institution, is one of them and scarcely subject to financial audits, although it receives government support. Not that it is effective, but even the ministry of finance and its auditors do not pry into its plan and expenditures, much less its revenues.

    Where is Ethiopia headed?

    It is common knowledge that the TPLF top brass sign huge contracts with foreign companies in the name of the nation, but they are the ones that privately enjoy the gains and the perks – enriching themselves and the Front’s interests.

    In parliament, during the discussion on the Ethiopian budget for fiscal year 2011/2012, question was addressed to Meles Zenawi about the need for transparency and proper auditing – including the books of the so-called state-owned agencies – with specific reference to the then newly established MeTECH under the defense ministry.

    Understandably, Meles was not pleased. He possibly had three reasons for that: First his own arrogance and contempt for the people, laws and institutions of the country; secondly, the question was raised by the lone opposition member in parliament. Thirdly, one could see from the departed prime minister’s reaction that he unmistakably confirmed his mortal hostility to accountability. Therefore, by way of answering the question –while implicitly making known that he was questioning: Who are you to look into our books? – he, however, sarcastically responded saying that anyone interested could go and ask for their books!

    Come 2013, the auditor-general reported that there was unaccounted for ETB 6.5 billion ($344 million) in government offices, of which ETB 3.5 billion ($185 million) was with the defense ministry and ETB 3.16 billion ($170 million) in the national intelligence agency!

    What is astonishing is that, on the morrow of the unveiling of this by the auditor-general, the two drafted new ‘laws’ (without even the council of ministers knowing anything about it) prohibiting anymore examination of their books by the auditor-general. Our country’s misfortune is not only the ongoing robbery. But also the lack of national leadership, as shown by the man in the prime minister’s office who came out to defend their actions on the national media!

    So, why should this story MeTEC, Ursus ink USD 90 mln deal by The Reporter be of interest to Ethiopians, as if it were a plus for our country? For that matter, the story itself sounds like PR for Ursus, the Polish company!

    For now, the details may have eluded us; however, what matters is that the nation is fully aware that the TPLF and its army and the security are the main beneficiaries from our country’s resources.

    Just check out their in-country consultancy spending, who takes the first bite; check out the contracts for roads, plants, maintenance, construction, etc., who gets the contracts. It is all in the family – TPLF’s business under the umbrella of EFFORT, or individual members of the Front with businesses or business ties!

    Also, MeTECH’s employment records speak for themselves, according to some sources. It has become top to bottom an employment agency for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front!



Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory

MeTEC, Ursus ink USD 90 mln deal

by Bruh Yihunbelay

The Metals and Engineering Corporation (MeTEC) and the Polish tractor manufacturer Ursus S.A. have signed a

Brigadier General Kinfe Dagnew (The Reporter)

USD 90 million contract for the supply of 3,000 tractors to Ethiopia, transferring technology and creating service facilities.

Ursus, a publicly-traded company listed in the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) and the oldest Polish trademark of vehicles, machines and agricultural equipment has been negotiating with Ethiopian officials for some three months. The company’s primary focus is the production and sale of tractors and agricultural machinery.

The only agricultural machinery and devices manufacturer listed on the WSE has its production plants in Lublin, Dobre Miasto, Biedaszki Małe near Kętrzyn and Opalenica, Poland.

According to information obtained from the company, one of the major focuses is to expand on the global market. Apart from tractors, the company’s assembly line includes loaders, trailers, green forage straw and hay line machines, spreading and fertilizing equipment and machines for cultivation and sowing.

Currently, the company has a production capacity of 1,000 to 2,000 units a year, and by the end of next December the capacity, according to the company’s officials, will grow to 5,000 units.

Last year the company had a total sales revenue of 50 million euros, 30 percent of which is from exports. In Africa, Ursus has already invested in Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa.

The Ursus Factory was founded in Poland in 1893 on 15 Sienna Street, Warsaw, by three engineers and four businessmen, using the dowry earnings of their seven daughters. It started producing exhaust engines, and later trucks and metal fittings intended for the Russian Tsar.

In 1930 the Ursus factory fell on hard times due to the world financial crisis, and was nationalized under the Państwowe Zakłady Inżynieryjne (National Engineering Works, PZInż), the Polish manufacturer of arms and vehicles. It then began producing military tractors, tanks and other heavy machinery for troops. During World War II, the Germans relocated PZInz to Germany and the remains were destroyed. After the war the factory was rebuilt and started producing the Ursus C-45, similar in design to the German pre-war Lanz Bulldog tractor. During the 1950s, the Ursus factory began producing tractors using a Zetor-based design.

MeTEC, headed by Brigadier General Kinfe Dagnew, is one of the institutions established by the Government of Ethiopia three years ago and comprises 15 semi-autonomous, and integrated manufacturing companies that are operating in more than nine different sectors.

The Adama Garment Industry, Adama Agricultural Machinery Industry, Akaki Basic Metals Industry, Dejen Aviation Industry, Ethiopia Plastic Industry, Gafat Armament Industry, Hamicho Ammunition Industry, Hi-Tech Industry, Hibret Manufacturing and Machine Building Industry, Metals Fabrication Industry, Power Engineering Industry, Bishoftu Automotive Industry and other sub-industries are all under MeTEC.

In a related news, Polish Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Beata Stelmach during her visit to attend the first Ethio-Polish Business Forum held political consultations with her counterpart  Berhane Gebre-Christos, with whom she discussed preparations for the next Africa-EU Summit, as well as with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Communication and Information Technology Debretsion Gebremichael (Ph.D.) and Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission Erastus Mwencha. An intergovernmental agreement on cultural cooperation and an agreement on political consultations between the Polish and Ethiopian foreign ministries have also been signed.

“We are ready to share our experiences from the time we underwent economic transition, implemented structural, social and economic reforms, and built civil society,” Stelmach said while opening the forum at Sheraton Addis.

During the visit on 21-24 September, Stelmach was accompanied by a group of entrepreneurs from over 20 Polish companies representing such sectors as mining, machinery, transport, infrastructure, agri-food, medical services and defense industry.

*NB:- The phrase cherechez la femme in French literally means “look for the woman.” It is also used in English to mean that there is something that needs uncovering.

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